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Flatbed van insurance

Having the right type of van insurance is essential if you use a flatbed truck for work. Compare business van insurance quotes for flatbed trucks and enjoy fantastic rewards, on us*

We compare prices from 31 trusted van insurance providers[2], including:

[2] Correct as of March 2024.

What is a flatbed van?

Flatbed vans typically have a flat, level bed with no roof. A standard flatbed van has no sides, while dropside vans have low, hinged sides that can be dropped for easier loading and unloading.

Flatbed vans, also referred to as flatbed trucks, are most commonly used by the building trade. They’re useful for carrying materials and equipment to and from building sites, as well as moving unusually shaped or oversized equipment.

If you drive a flatbed van for work, you’ll need to find the right commercial van insurance for your vehicle.

What type of insurance will I need for my flatbed truck?

There are two main types of commercial van insurance for flatbed and dropside vans:

  • Carriage of own goods covers your van while you’re carrying tools, equipment and materials owned by you, your employer or business partner. It doesn’t cover any goods owned by others.
  • Haulage (carriage of goods for hire and reward) covers your van if you use it to transport goods owned by someone else for payment – for example, furniture removals. It will also cover you for carrying your own business-related goods.

As flatbed vans are open at the back, most policies won’t cover items that are left in the bed unattended or overnight.

You might also want to consider breakdown cover so you don’t get stranded by the side of the road when you’re in the middle of a job.

Public liability insurance could protect you if, for example, you damage someone else’s property while you’re loading or unloading your van.

What level of cover do I need for my flatbed truck?

As with all vans, you can choose between three main levels of cover for your flatbed truck:

  • Third-party only – the minimum level of cover required by law. It covers you for damage to another vehicle or injuries you cause to other people while driving. It won’t cover your own van, though.  
  • Third-party, fire and theft – this offers the same cover as third-party insurance, with added protection for your own van against fire damage and theft.  
  • Comprehensive – this includes everything you’d expect from a third-party, fire and theft policy. But it could also pay out if you’re injured or your own van is damaged in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

It’s worth knowing that comprehensive insurance isn’t necessarily the most expensive cover, even though it offers the most protection. It could make sense to compare between levels of cover to see what, if any, difference there is.

Frequently asked questions

Does flatbed van insurance cover tools as standard?

Although commercial van insurance policies allow you to carry tools and equipment you need for your work, they won’t usually insure the items themselves against damage and theft. For that, you’ll need to pay extra for tools cover or take out a separate policy.

Be aware that insurance providers will often require you to take certain security measures for your cover to be valid. This includes not leaving equipment in the van overnight.

What else should I consider when looking at flatbed van insurance?

Here are a few factors to keep in mind when comparing flatbed van insurance:

  • Make sure you’ve opted for business use on your policy. Otherwise you could find it’s invalidated when you come to claim. 
  • If you’ve modified your van in any way – by changing the bodywork, engine or exhaust – you’ll also need to make that clear.  
  • If you have more than one work van to insure, you could get a better deal and save time by choosing fleet insurance. This allows you to cover multiple vans or trucks under the same policy, normally even if they’re different makes and models.

Can I get temporary insurance for a flatbed truck?

You can get temporary short-term van cover that could cover you for as little as one hour, up to 28 days.

Bear in mind though that it’s a legal requirement to have insurance for your flatbed truck, even if you’re not driving it for a while. That's unless you officially declare it as off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

How does vehicle weight affect flatbed van insurance?

Heavier vehicles will usually attract higher premiums. This is how vehicle weight affects flatbed van insurance:

  • HMRC uses the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of your flatbed truck to determine what type of vehicle it is for road tax purposes. This classification will also affect which type of vehicle insurance you need.
  • If your flatbed has a MAM of less than 3.5 tonnes, it’s classed as a light goods vehicle (LGV) and you’ll be covered by business van insurance.
  • If your flatbed truck is over 3.5 tonnes, you’ll need specialist insurance cover for a heavy goods vehicle (HGV).

Is flatbed van insurance more expensive?

Flatbed vans tend to be more expensive to insure than standard vans. That’s because they’re bigger, more powerful to drive and may be seen as more of a risk by insurance providers.

They’re also potentially more susceptible to accidental damage as construction sites can be dangerous places. And because the back of a flatbed truck is open, they could be more of a target for opportunistic thieves.

How do I get a better deal on my flatbed van insurance?

Here are a few ways you could save money on your flatbed van insurance:

  • Pay a higher voluntary excess – your voluntary excess is how much you choose to pay upfront when you make a claim. Insurance providers usually add a compulsory excess to this, so make sure you can afford both.
  • Keep your van secure – securing your van with an immobiliser and using an approved alarm and tracker could lower your insurance premium.
  • Don’t auto renew – shop around and compare quotes to find a cheaper deal on flatbed truck insurance ahead of your renewal date.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quick and simple van insurance quote, you’ll need:

  • Your vehicle details, including the registration number or manufacturer, make and model.
  • Your personal details, including your age, where you live, your claims history and any driving convictions
  • Details of any additional drivers you want on the insurance
  • The estimated annual mileage of your flatbed van
  • Your current insurance policy details.
Author image Julie Daniels

What our expert says...

“Before you buy van insurance for your flatbed or dropside van, read the terms and conditions for any restrictions that might apply, such as driver age. Policies can vary between insurance providers.

“If you’re unsure of what’s covered and excluded, contact the insurance provider directly for expert advice.”

- Julie Daniels, Insurance expert